Teahouse to be planted in center of Biscayne Boulevard downtown
A brand new Green Initiative promises to transform stark urban pavement into an oasis in Downtown Miami.
With dual goals of increasing walkability and welcoming green space in dense areas, developer PMG and the Miami Parking Authority (MPA) have announced they are joining forces to create a community driven project called the Green Initiative along Biscayne Boulevard.
The Green Initiative, along Third and Fifth streets on Biscayne Boulevard, will be a lush green space designed by landscape architecture company Enea.
It is to beautify the centerline by incorporating native trees, inviting benches, decorative lighting, pavers, and will also feature an elegant teahouse with beverages and other prepared foods open to the community.
The idea is to provide a special area in the centerline of Biscayne Boulevard to afford Miami residents, employees and visitors to downtown a breathing space from the hustle and bustle of the urban core.
“We are very pleased to support the integration of an urban greenspace with parking to create a sense of community that will encourage walkability, connectivity and social engagement,” said Alejandra “Alex” Argudin, MPA’s chief executive officer.
The two blocks of green space, steps away from PMG’s recently launched Waldorf Astoria Residences Miami, will function as a transition from the city hardscape to “a lush oasis that will exude nature, warmth and beauty, as well as encourage walkability,” say PMG and MPA.
“The new Green Initiative is part of PMG’s continued commitment to the city of Miami. We’re creating an inviting sanctuary in the center of this dynamic, energetic downtown,” said Ryan Shear, managing partner of PMG and developer of Waldorf Astoria Residences Miami.
“The environment will be reflective of the welcoming experience we hope to instill throughout Waldorf Astoria Residences Miami and the surrounding neighborhood,” he said.
Sponsored by PMG, the green space will beautify the centerline of Biscayne Boulevard, where interconnected MPA parking lots currently sit along Third and Fifth streets.
Aimed at enhancing the well-being of the downtown community, the green installation will integrate parking with native trees and shrubs, inviting benches, decorative lighting and pavers. The design plans also include the teahouse with beverages, pastries and other prepared food.
“This project is a quality-of-life enrichment expected to foster a sense of place for the enjoyment of the community,” Ms. Argudin said.
“We are pleased to collaborate with a world-class design team to create a green-space intervention that will foster social interaction and a healthier lifestyle,” she added.
Is this new Green Initiative taking the place of the so-called Biscayne Green proposal?
Ms. Argudin says it is not.
Biscayne Green has been advanced by the Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA) for more than a decade.
In 2011, the DDA completed a streetscape analysis for a complete redesign of six blocks of Biscayne Boulevard. The preferred concept included a reduction of vehicular lanes, on-street parking, wider sidewalks, and a dedicated bicycle facility.
The DDA says the vision of Biscayne Green calls for the redesign of Biscayne Boulevard into Miami’s grand pedestrian promenade.
Basically, Biscayne Green is designed to make one of the busiest streets in Miami smaller, less imposing and more pedestrian friendly.
Ms. Argudin, in response to questions from Miami Today, said the Green Initiative is not meant to replace Biscayne Green, and it is not related to Biscayne Green.
“The Green Initiative is a collaboration between MPA and PMG. The concept was conceived as a small green setting in the middle of the urban area aimed at promoting a sense of belonging that will encourage the public to walk and engage with area residents, employees and visitors,” said Ms. Argudin, in an email to Miami Today.
“Meanwhile, Lot 19 continues to be open for business. The MPA views this initiative as a model for the feasible integration of parking into other land uses for the benefit of the community,” she said.
“While the Green Initiative and Biscayne Green are two different projects, they share the spirit of creating sustainable amenity spaces for the public to enjoy,” Ms. Argudin wrote.
The announcement of the Green Initiative follows the commencement of sales of the Waldorf Astoria Residences Miami, which is the brand’s debut in the Miami market.
Developed by PMG, Toronto-based private equity firm Greybrook Realty Partners and S2 Development, the hotel and residential tower is to rise 1,049 feet as the tallest US residential and hotel tower south of New York City.
The property is to consist of 360 private residences as well as 205 guestrooms and suites within the five-star hotel and an array of signature spaces and culinary establishments.
Waldorf Astoria Residences Miami will be at 300 Biscayne Blvd.